‘Seeing’ People’s Needs
Sometimes you can tell by the look on someone’s face what they are going through. ‘Joseph… looked at them, and saw that they were sad.’ Even though he himself was unjustly imprisoned, he saw their need and helped two other prisoners. Would it have been easier just to focus on his own problems? Yes, but it’s self-defeating. Henry Drummond wrote, ‘As you look back on your life, the moments that stand out are always the ones when you did things for others.’ Joseph realised he wasn’t the only one hurting, so he did what Jesus always did—treated those around him with compassion. How about you? Do you take time to try to understand what people are going through? Do you only think about ‘me’ or are you concerned with others who are hurting, especially when you’ve nothing to gain by it? Encouragement is like a shot of adrenaline: it can lift a person and put them back on their feet again. Writer René Bazin says, ‘A remedy for the evils of our time… is the gift of yourself to those who’ve fallen so low that even hope fails them.’ Will those you give to, always give back? No, but God will. When the royal butler was released from prison he forgot the promise he made to speak to Pharaoh on Joseph’s behalf. But God didn’t forget! Joseph’s best days were ahead. Think of his rise in Egypt, his service to a nation, his impact as a leader, and the joy of getting back together with his family. He understood it: ‘...God turned into good what [others] meant for evil...’ (Genesis 50:20 TLB) So, start ‘seeing’ the needs of those around you.